Book Review: Not One More Death

I recently visited a locally-run book store in Western New York, where I happened upon a small volume entitled Not One More Death.  A collection of six essays, the book’s list of authors includes musician Brian Eno, who recently worked on the new Coldplay album, and Nobel Prize winning author Harold Pinter, as well as Richard Dawkins, John le Carré, Michael Faber, and Iraqi novelist Haifa Zangana.  Writing both before and after the invasion of Iraq, all six discuss topics such as the justifications of the conflict in Iraq and the manipulation of American public opinion.  Although the writers’ perspective tends to be UK-oriented and leans distinctively left, the book is interesting for its somewhat different set of arguments against our illegal war than might be found in American sources.

The text of one of the better essays, which is the transcript of Pinter’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, may be found here on Lew Rockwell’s site.  Among other points, he argues that:

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict.’ Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed.

Today, he continues, the US “occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries,” and “is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.”  I most definitely do not agree with everything Not One More Death claims, or even with all of Pinter’s ideas, but even so, it’s worth the read.

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